Running out of ideas! - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Running out of ideas!

Hi everyone, I found your forum and signed up in the hope that someone here might be able to help me. I'm in a 15 year relationship where we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary next month (I hope!). He works away from home and is gone up to 3 months at a time, so we don't get much time together, and up until recently, we had even less time alone. My son is now 18 and is also working away from home. So that means my husband and I have finally made it to the point in our lives where we can start concentrating on us.

We have had issues. We separated a couple of years ago and had each started to move on, but ended up getting back together feeling like we had a better understanding of each other. I learned how it was for him being away from home all the time. He learned how it was for me being here to deal with everything myself. I thought we had learned a lot.

His last visit home was for Easter. Now I had been by myself for 3 months. I don't socialize a lot and I don't work. I hate winter. I hate the cold and there's so little daylight. This year I have had issues with the car, including winter driving on bald summer tires, our 42" Panasonic Plasma died, the surround sound had quit working, the roof leaked, the washer needed repair, I had no oven because the propane lines kept freezing up, plumbing issues, a broken kitchen tap, a loose snake, mice (in spite of the loose snake), and I found out that my cat that my husband gave me shortly after we got together is full of cancer. Oh yeah, and I discovered I suffer from anxiety. I can't imagine why! So I do admit that I'm not always the most charming person to be around. But when I get upset, it's because something is hurting or bothering me. I don't just go around snapping at people all the time, but I will talk something to death until it stops bothering me and when he doesn't want to listen, I do get mad.

So as I said, he came home for Easter. I thought things were fine. I had some things that were stressing me out some, but I thought he and I were fine. One evening he took off his wedding ring and set it on my desk. He barely spoke to me for the rest of the week until it was time to leave and then I barely heard from him for nearly 2 weeks.

I know we love each other. But I know that our relationship should be a lot more than what it has been too. Sex almost never happens. We had 1 night when he was home...our first in a year and a half. Basically, he finds me boring in bed and too moody out of bed. For me, it's not so much one big change that I need from him, but a lot of little things. Such as he likes when I keep myself looking nice. I want him to do that for me too. He's lazy about himself. Or walking beside me in the mall. Seems like he's always a few steps ahead or a couple behind.

So Dr. Oz was on one day, and I only half paid attention but they were talking about the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. At one point it caught my attention when they were talking about it helping marriages. So I looked it up and got the gist of what they were talking about and started coming up with ideas. Since our anniversary is next month, I decided to present him with the idea of going away for a romantic weekend where there was nothing to take our focus off each other. We did the discussion through msn because sometimes it's easier to be open and honest when you don't have to face each other. I explained to him that I wanted us to learn to be more open and honest with each other and to get closer so we don't keep having the same problems over again. I told him about the books and what I wanted to achieve and he seemed to really be loving all of it. For a week we spent every spare second talking and planning out our trip. We stayed up all night and everything. We found the most beautiful little in with a deluxe honeymoon suite that has everything, a romantic restaurant we could dress up all fancy and go out to, we were even shopping together on adamandeve. I have a pretty thick shell around me. I'm VERY shy (which is why he finds me boring). But he got me completely out of my shell that week. I have never had so much fun with him.

So what's the problem? Apparently I have such an explosive personality that he's simply too afraid to try any of this with me. So we're not going anywhere. He's satisfied to stay home and order a pizza.

In the last 2 years I've lost 65 pounds, weighing in today at 132. Still a few to go, but I KNOW I look better. I get my hair professionally colored and spend time straightening it instead of the messy bird's nest it used to be. I try to dress a little nicer in clothes that flatter me. But I don't know how to change my personality. Of course it's nervous to think about trying new things, but we both seemed to be so excited. It really did sound like the most perfect romantic little weekend. How did I get from that to pizza at home? I kept trying to assure him that I wanted to try this too and I wasn't going to get upset at him, but it didn't seem to help.

I don't know what else to say. I just hope someone out there reads this and has an idea that might work. If you made it this far, thank you!

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 06:20 PM
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Re: Running out of ideas!

Oh, Greens. This just breaks my heart.

Actually, I don't think there's anything else you can do. You are doing all the heavy lifting already -- you can't really try any harder. He doesn't appear to be trying at all.

I guess a conversation about why that is would be my next step. The most charitable interpretation I can come up with is that if you've been pretty volatile for a long time, he may need time to readjust to this new you? Time to come to trust that you won't explode at him?

Or -- less charitably -- he's just not that into you. I'm so sorry, I know that sounds harsh.

At any rate, it sounds like you are making great strides in your own personal development, and -- at the end of the day -- you are the only person you can control. So I guess I'd say just back off and see what he does when you are not trying so hard.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-08-2012, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Running out of ideas!

Maybe the part about readjusting is worth considering. Especially considering we have so little time together as it is, so what seems like a long time to me may not be to him. Thanks for the insight!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-09-2012, 04:32 AM
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Re: Running out of ideas!

Agree on the readjustment period.

Also, it sounds like he might like a little more help on the home front. Sounds like he works away from home and does not have much comfortable home time.

I imagine that (for that incident where he gave you back the ring) he expects you to handle things on the home front (you don't work, no kids at home, etc.) So when he gets home and you talk about everything that's wrong (any many, like the tires and the TV are easily resolvable) he lost it and reacted badly.

It would probably help if you could reach an agreement on what you will handle while he's gone, he can feel like he can come home and relax (and you might not be so anxious if you feel empowered to do stuff rather than just endure it).

Longer term, is there a way he can transition to a job where he's home more? Sounds like he misses being there (skipping the vacation for a pizza at home).
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